Family of 12-year-old boy swept out to sea in California offers $50,000 reward

·2 min read

The family of a 12-year-old boy who was swept out to sea in northern California is offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who locates him after a multiagency search was suspended.

The boy, identified by family as Arunay Pruthi, was pulled into the ocean at Cowell Ranch Beach in the city of Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco, on Monday.

Arunay's father and 8-year-old brother were also pulled in by a "sneaker wave," the boy's uncle Arvind Pruthi said. The Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit said the father and brother were eventually pushed back to shore after being "beaten up by waves." Arunay was pulled under the water about 100 yards offshore.

Arunay Pruthi, 12 was swept to sea in northern California on Jan. 18, 2021. (Courtesy Pruthi family)
Arunay Pruthi, 12 was swept to sea in northern California on Jan. 18, 2021. (Courtesy Pruthi family)

The U.S. Coast Guard, Cal Fire, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and other agencies used boats, drones and helicopters to search for Arunay. A sheriff's office spokeswoman said Wednesday that the search had been suspended.

A deputy sector commander for the Coast Guard's San Francisco unit said the decision was made "after considering the environmental conditions and the amount of time that had passed."

"This is a tragic loss for the family who were simply trying to enjoy a day together at the beach. Our deepest sympathies are with them at this time," Captain Howard Wright said.

Emergency workers look for a child who was swept out to sea at Cowell Ranch State Beach in San Mateo County, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2020. (Cal Fire via Twitter)
Emergency workers look for a child who was swept out to sea at Cowell Ranch State Beach in San Mateo County, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2020. (Cal Fire via Twitter)

In a Facebook post on a Search for Arunay Pruthi page, the boy's family said it was offering the $50,000 reward "for locating and positively identifying Arunay."

"We have decided to offer a reward to encourage folks with specialized equipment to help look for him," the family said in a post.

They asked volunteers to put their safety first and not search during bad weather. "We cannot afford to have even a single more soul get hurt."

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